Darrell Issa: Obama Administration Among Most Corrupt In Modern Times

The incoming Chairman of the House Government Oversight Committee says that the Obama Administration is among the most corrupt Presidencies in modern times:

(CNN) – The incoming House Oversight and Government Reform chairman on Sunday tried to clarify his recent remarks to Rush Limbaugh where he called President Obama “one of the most corrupt presidents in modern times.”

Rep. Darrell Issa said he meant to say the Obama administration instead of the president.

“When you hand out $1 trillion in TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) just before this president came in, most of it unspent, $1 trillion nearly in stimulus, that this president asked for, plus this huge expansion in health care and government, it has a corrupting effect,” Issa said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Although TARP – the program passed in 2008 intended to strengthen the financial sector by purchasing assets from financial institutions – was passed by Congress under the Bush administration, Issa said the unregulated funds were used by Obama like “presidential earmarks.”

Is Issa really saying that the Obama Administration is on a par with the Nixon Administration, which included a Vice-President who was forced to resign over tax evasion, staffers who engaged in illegal activity associated with the 1972 Presidential campaign, and a President who participated in an effort to cover-up that activity and was then forced to resign himself ? If you listen to what he’s saying, it’s clear that Issa isn’t saying. As has become far too typical in modern politics, he’s using a word like “corrupt,” which to an ordinary person connotes criminal activity of some kind, to condemn policy differences he has with the Administration, and in the process he glosses over the fact that TARP was passed under a Republican President with significant support from Republican Congressman and Senators. It’s part of the general decline in political rhetoric that we’ve seen in this country, and it’s not at all a good sign for the next two years.

The President may be wrong, but don’t call him corrupt unless you have actual evidence that crimes may have been committed. Issa clearly doesn’t have that evidence.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Andyman says:

    When the whole Kenyan/Manchurian candidate/crypto-Muslim plot is revealed, Watergate will look like small potatoes.

  2. sam says:

    He almost broke his jaw backtracking later on the bobbleheads shows. I’m not sure, strike that — I am sure that Issa ought to be the last person of public prominence who wants to start throwing accusations of corruption around given his history of brushes with law enforcement. Somebody should remind him that politics ain’t beanbag.

  3. James Joyner says:

    It is a bizarre charge. He’s certainly pushed the envelope on presidential power, including going even further than the Bush Administration on such things as targeting Americans accused of terrorism. But even if you ignore precedent and hold him to letter of the law standards, that’s not “corruption” in any standard sense of the word.

  4. tom p says:

    “It is a bizarre charge.”

    Not really when you take into account the fact that he is a Republican.

  5. DC Loser says:

    Well, this isn’t exactly surprising coming from Issa, who is well known as a loose cannon and has some pretty nutty ideas himself.

  6. anjin-san says:

    > The President may be wrong, but don’t call him corrupt unless you have actual evidence that crimes may have been committed.

    Sure you do. Issa is a modern Republican. Politics before country.

  7. Mithras says:

    Issa would most profitably go after the ACORN/New Black Panther thing. It’s BS, but it resonates most deeply with the GOP mainstream (who can’t believe real Americans ever vote for Democrats and really, really can’t believe that Kenyan Muslim got elected without fraud) because it proves that Obama and the Dems are both criminal and illegitimate.

    Remember always that the Republican-leaning posters on this site are the exception, not the rule, among the Republican electorate.

  8. Tlaloc says:

    I could be motivated to care if only obama hadn’t turned out to be a lying s.o.b. looking out for every monied interest.

  9. Howard says:

    INTEGRITY is not based upon one’s success, but on HOW they achieved their success … and, what they do with the power once they’ve acquired it. Apparently, the AMBITIOUS Obamas believe that the ends justify the means. After spending 20 years in Jeremiah Wright’s anti-American church, Barack assumed his senatorial position not through democracy, but by having his opponent disqualified for a minor infraction. He then wasted time in the senate, voting present 130 times. To get elected, Barack made empty promises about reform and transparency, while he threw long time supporters under the bus. Ambitious Michelle, used Barack’s clout to triple her income at a Chicago hospital, for a B.S. job … and, now that they have the power, they have no respect for the hard earned money of the American tax payers, as they redistribute our wealth, limit our freedoms, and indulge in a lavish lifestyle. In addition, facts about Barack’s origins, affiliations, education, and qualifications are quite murky … and, any attempt to challenge or clarify these facts, are met with opposition and contempt.

  10. MM says:

    But even if you ignore precedent and hold him to letter of the law standards, that’s not “corruption” in any standard sense of the word.

    It’s certainly a corruption of the term.

  11. Paul says:

    I saw this:
    Paul Khoner

    “Darryl Issa is investigating the criminal actions of Rattner, who just got busted and the whole DOE ATVM and Loan Gaurantee favoritism, misdirection of applicants, misdirection of funds and log-jamming of applicants that compete with Rattner’s, Lachlan Sewards, Matt Rogers, Steve Spinners and Mr. Tobins special Interests at DOE/WH. Feinstein and others will go down along with her husband on his Mongolia lithium, Tesla and Blum Capitol scams. It cost taxpayers over $30B in losses”

  12. Bianca says:

    Issa claims to be a member of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. This church’s world’s HQ is in Damascus, Syria.

    Issa’s grandparents are from Lebanon. The name Issa is Arabic, it means “Allah Saves”, and originated in Egypt, one of the largest Muslim nations.

    Clarification is needed for Rep. Issa’s family relationship with Marwan Issa, current leader of the Hamas terrorist organization. Darrell Issa is an Arab and one of the richest member of Congress. How did he get so rich?